No need for a US knight in shining armor

Regarding your Sept. 16 article "Larger aim in Iraq: alter Mideast," surely even President Bush's foreign policy team cannot be so intellectually limited that they cannot see, and reject, the enormous dangers of attempting to restructure the political realities of the Middle East to make them more pro-American, nor so morally limited that they believe they have the right to do so.

The Middle East is not a computer game. The people are real people. They are not children. The US cannot interfere with their lives, claiming it is in their best interest.

There seems to be a lack of awareness in Bush's circle of how the world feels about America. No one is waiting to be rescued. The US is not seen as a knight in shining armor.
Christopher Leadbeater
Hailey, England

Democratic Iraq is not Bush's goal

Regarding Michael McFaul's Sept. 16 Opinion piece "Change the focus in Iraq," he assumes that a democratic Iraq is the goal of the Bush administration. I don't see much evidence that a democratic Iraq is even faintly blinking on these folks' radar.

If a new Iraqi government were really democratically constructed, it would not be up to us to see who gets the goodies. What basis is there for the obvious assumption that the US will be controlling the government of Iraq?

Perhaps the current administration sees the war on terror as a means to a much larger end, one that seeks to use the hunt for terrorists to justify attacks on those regimes which control significant amounts of energy resources.
Deb Schultz
Savage, Md.

Need for a unified effort on Iraq

Regarding your Sept. 12 article "Don't make Saddam mad, make him lonely," the Democratic Iraq Initiative is a brilliant solution to a very serious problem. This initiative meets the concern of all involved and would enable us to move forward in unity.

President Bush must be assuming that the American people will support an attack on Iraq, but he has not spelled out what kind of war this might be, and what its aftermath might entail.

Our containment policy has been very hard on the Iraqi people. Why should we assume they would turn to us as their savior, and away from their own, albeit tough, political leader?
Beatrice L. Tukesbury
Princeton, N.J.

Sri Lanka peace and 9/11: no link

In your Sept. 16 article "Exhausted by war, Sri Lanka ponders peace," on the talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Thailand, the author mentions that the LTTE went to talk because of the Sept. 11 attack. However, the LTTE declared a unilateral cease-fire well before Sept. 11, on Dec. 24, 2000.
M. Paramanathan
Melbourne, Australia.

Does Freedom Corps = Americorps?

In his Sept. 13 Opinion piece "Same as we ever were," Daniel Schorr reports that George Bush's USA Freedom Corps has not taken off. I'm curious – how is this organization different from the existing Americorps group that was boosted by President Clinton?

Besides offering yet another opportunity for Bush and the Republicans to slap the word "freedom" on something, trivializing the word with constant repetition until it is meaningless, does this new organization actually serve an original purpose that was not already met by an existing group?
Steve Snyder
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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